Old nova GK Per was observed in 1981 with the IUE, during its rise, maximum, and subsequent return to minimum. In outburst, GK Per is luminous but much redder than dwarf novae or standard model accretion disks. The observed spectrum can be explained qualitatively with the Ghosh and Lamb (1979) model for the interaction of an accretion disk with the magnetic field of the accreting white dwarf. The N V and He2 are enhanced relative to other emission lines during outburst. This can be understood with photoionization by very soft X-rays having a luminosity comparable to that of the hard X-rays.